Domestic flight operations to and from Kolkata resumed on Thursday morning after a gap of two months following the government decision to impose a lockdown to contain the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Domestic flights started in other parts of the country from May 25, but flights to and from Kolkata got delayed due to the impact of the Cyclone Amphan on May 20. The state machinery was involved in restoration and relief work, and could not restore operations from the city airport.
The first flight from Kolkata left for Guwahati at 6.05 am with 40 passengers and a flight from New Delhi reached the city with 122 passengers. Flying post-lockdown has turned very different with lengthy sanitisation process and security checks taking longer due to social distancing and other “contact-less procedures”. Passengers travelling also need to undergo mandatory health screening.
Altogether ten flights are scheduled to leave Kolkata and ten are to arrive in the city. Domestic flight operations will resume at Bagdogra airport in north Bengal soon.
Hardeep Singh Puri, the Union civil aviation minister wrote on social media that, “with operations starting from West Bengal today, we now have the entire country covered. This is how the picture looked in a capture from FlightRadar24 at 9.16 am this morning. Our skies & airports are going to get as busy as they always were in coming days” [cover photograph].